LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A mistrial was declared Tuesday in the trial of a Los Angeles firefighter accused of assaulting a woman who was feeding stray cats in his West Adams neighborhood.
Ian Justin Eulian, 38, was charged with felony count each of battery with serious bodily injury and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. His 71-year-old mother, Lonieta Fontaine, was charged with one count of accessory after the fact.READ MORE: Andrew Marnell Of Beverly Grove Pleads Guilty To Taking Out $9 Million In COVID Relief Loans For Gambling Trips To Vegas, Luxury Purchases
Jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked – split 7-5 for guilt on one count against Eulian and 6-6 on the other, prompting the mistrial. Jurors never even got a chance to vote on the charge against Fontaine.
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 30.
Eulian, who lives with his mother, testified that he and his mother had been long frustrated by about a dozen stray and feral cats that were a constant source of noise and feces around their home. The firefighter said he had previously spoken to 47-year-old Rebecca Stafford about her habit of feeding the cats, and she said she would feed the strays at the end of an alley.
The three got into an altercation on Sept. 14, 2013. Eulian and Stafford got into an expletive-filled shouting match when she threw cat kibble at him and kicked him, he testified. Eulian’s mother walked up to apparently try and calm things down, but the two women ended up slapping each other.
Stafford allegedly kicked Fontaine in the chest. Eulian admitted to trying to punch Stafford as she was in her Jeep, but said he missed. When Eulian thought Stafford was going to kick again, he said he pulled her out of the car “to stop her from abusing my mother.”READ MORE: Chey Smart Of Costa Mesa Arrested After Drone Carrying Drugs Lands At Theo Lacy Jail In Orange
He hit Stafford and she hit the ground, Eulian said.
Stafford testified that she remembers Eulian, who is trained as an EMT, “reaching into my car and grabbing me. And I said, ‘Are you going to hit me?’ and then it was like lights out. I don’t remember anything until I woke up.”
Eulian said he and his mother eventually helped Stafford into her car and drove her home.
Prosecutors say the two told Stafford that she tripped and hit her face on her car.
During the prosecution’s case, jurors were shown a video recording of the confrontation from a camera at a nearby building.MORE NEWS: California Recall Could Boost Newsom's Clout For 2022
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